Student on computer

Why backup data

Your data has value, whether it be the value of your time to create it or the value of research data that can't be recreated. And anything of value should be protected. Creating backups is a means to protect your data from unforeseen events that lead to the loss of data or even the machine. While the department maintains copies of the software running on y4ur machine, each faculty member is responsible for backing up their own personal data. This includes personal correspondence, documents, user installed programs, and any other files created by the user. Several options are available to backup your data including storing data on studsys, using XP backup utility and copying data to a CD.

Backing up data to Pascal

Important data and files can easily be uploaded and stored under your personal directory on Pascal using a file transfer utility. Because Pascal itself is backed up on a consistent basis this is a reliable means to ensure that your data will not be lost. However a backup only exists for approximately two weeks before the tape is reused to make another backup. So if you replace a file with a newer version of a file, the older version will remain on the Pascal backup for about two weeks and then it will be overwritten. The Pascal backup will then contain the newer version of your file.

XP backup utility

XP contains a built in utility for creating backups that is very simple to use. To start the backup utility click start > Accessories > System Tools > Backup. A wizard will then popup that will guide you through the rest of the process. It is recommended to store the data to be backed up under one file or under a directory that contains many files to be backed up. The backup utility will store the copied data in a file with a .bkf extension.

Copying data to CD

XP users can use the internal CD burner to backup data. If you do not have an internal CD burner you can obtain an external CD burner from the department office (CU340). To copy files and folders to a CD

  1. Insert a blank, writable CD into the CD recorder.
  2. Open My Computer.
  3. Click the files or folders you want to copy to the CD. To select more than one file, hold down the CTRL key while you click the files you want. Then, under File and Folder Tasks, click Copy this file, Copy this folder, or Copy the selected items. If the files are located in My Pictures, under Picture Tasks, click Copy to CD or Copy all items to CD, and then skip to step 5.
  4. In the Copy Items dialog box, click the CD recording drive, and then click Copy.
  5. In My Computer, double-click the CD recording drive. Windows displays a temporary area where the files are held before they are copied to the CD. Verify that the files and folders that you intend to copy to the CD appear under Files Ready to be written to the CD.
  6. Under CD Writing Tasks, click Write these files to CD. Windows displays the CD Writing Wizard. Follow the instructions in the wizard.

Windows 2000 users can use Roxio Easy CD Creator to backup data to CD. When a blank CD is inserted into the drive, the menu should automatically pop up. Otherwise, this program can be found under the start > Programs > Roxio Easy CD Creator 5 > Applications > Easy CD Creator. Once the menu comes up, select DATA CD project.


On the top half of the screen, you will see a directory tree listing of all of the folders on your computer. In order to begin the burning process, you must first drag and drop the files from the top half of the screen to the lower right. For example, if you would like to drag your “My Documents” folder, then you find the folder in the upper window, select it, and simply drag it down. The lower right portion of the screen will give detailed information (the exact files in each folder) while the lower left will just display the folder names that you have chosen to burn.

This process of dragging files can be until the CD is full. There is a status bar on the bottom of the screen that will let you know how much room you have left. A standard CD holds 700 MB of data or 80 Minutes of digital audio.


Once you have completed this process, click on the RECORD button Record to initiate the burn process. The following dialog box will appear:

Dialog box

To finish the process click on the start recording button Start recording to write data to CD.

If you have any questions please contact the computer support staff.




Summer Research Experience

The Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science hosts a Summer Research Experience (REU) for Undergraduates. This program provides undergraduates with an intensive, faculty-mentored, summer research experience in the areas of applied mathematics, high-performance computing, statistics, ubiquitous systems and mathematics education. Learn more